• Sandro

Mazda e2000 gone SWISS CHALET on wheels ...

Under tuition of a an extremely talented carpenter and ingenious overall-artist (Harry Perkins from Perth, Western Australia; **check out: https://www.twigandsteel.com/ **), I finally pulled off my long-guarded wish to craft something with my own hands - as opposed to my customary job's paper-pushing and staring into screens. Throughout February and March 2019, Harry and I transformed a slightly rough-bodied, farm-ridden Mazda e2000, dating from 2004 and strutting a magnificent mileage of 270k (an odometer-reading which makes most Europeans' eyes pop out), into a shiny gem with a lustrous timber interior.


BELOW: Time-lapse video of our van conversion. Next-level van conversion!


Mind you, it took us a combined 350+ hours to complete it; not counting the numerous errands - many of them fool's ones and wild-goose-chases - around Perth whilst scrap-hunting for building materials and equipment. I'll keep words scarce as pictures are worth a thousand words; particularly with projects such as this.


View of the shiny timber-interior we fitted in the Mazda e2000. The darker lining panels were charred with the Japanese wood-burning technique 'Shou Sugi Ban'.
Minivan wood interior (view from passenger seat)

I would like to extend my heart-felt thanks to Harry: It was a serendipitous pleasure to have met you - thanks for everything taught, great music clues and unforgettable moments. Another big cheerio to Harry's slightly husky, but immeasurably generous dad with a golden heart who carried out all the sparky's work on the van and who co-agreed to me using his shed where Harry keeps all power-tools. Back in October 2018, the first time round in Perth, Rick even let me stay in their backyard as I had just purchased the first e2000 Harry converted and which served as an inspirational blueprint for this one here. An equally warm 'Thank you', last but definitely not least, goes to Anneke, Harry's gorgeous Boo, also artist @Twig&Steel and generally a fabulously free and eclectically knowledgeable spirit.





A special mention goes out to Cheryl, the seamstress who sewed the curtains; they really shut-out light well, both owing to the large seams up top and the second layer. I tip my hat to your beating the 'Hessian' aka 'gunny sack' material. Drop her an e-mail in case you on the lookout for some class 'A' stitching: CLICK HERE.


View of the shiny timber-interior we fitted in the Mazda e2000. The darker lining panels were charred with the Japanese wood-burning technique 'Shou Sugi Ban'.
Minivan wood interior (view from the tailgate).

Eternal gratitude, and you know I mean this literally, to my soul-mateys from Port Maquarie: Thank you for dear friendship, selfless help and for being outstandingly inspirational world citizens. 100% genuine Aussie awesomeness: Louise, Jason & their kiddos Kiera and Hayden. On a par, big hug to Léonie (better enjoy that snazzy 'accent aigu'), rad Brad & their kiddos Marlin and Tazzy. Of course, also 'un abrazo muy fuerte' to Galina, Steve, Adam and many others for having done so much, thus setting the foundation for me to build a loving relation with 'down under' on.

View of the tailgate's shiny timber-interior (dressed pine; some marine ply) we fitted in the Mazda e2000. The darker lining panels were charred with the Japanese wood-burning technique 'Shou Sugi Ban'.
Heavy-duty drawers (80kg each) with burned frames. The left one features a lid to cook on with the 3 burner gas stove.

All the bells, whistles and shebang you'll ever need to have a great road-trip. (Guitar & surfboards not included ;D)
Full view of the van with all gear.

Heaps of storage and ongoing eye-candy woodwork
View of the kitchen (40L fridge, benchtop etc.)

Yes, Harry, the sliding doors were a genius idea - easy & handy.
More kitchen view from a froggie's perspective.

2000W (constant) to 4000W (peak) inverter converting the auxiliary battery's direct current (DC) into alternating current (AC) to power household appliances.

Not Bear-Grylls kinda prerequisite to traveling, but still really nice to have. A toastie after surfing ... come on: Yummy-licious!
Kitchen appliances powered by the inverter (see above).

Indispensable - especially for longer hair - to have a shower on the go - with biodegradable soap, of course.
Pressurizable rooftop water-tank with shower head